Madison County Hospital is happy to welcome back Chief Nursing Officer Patrick Baker. As a Lieutenant Colonel for the 179th Ohio Air National Guard out of Mansfield, Ohio, Baker has returned after serving six months in Iraq as a Healthcare Administrator.
During a hospital-wide celebration to welcome him home, Baker spoke of his experiences and expressed how happy he is to be back with his family. He also expressed his gratitude for the care packages sent by the hospital.
“When we would get mail, it would be like the first day of kindergarden,” he said. “Everyone wants to see the package, where it’s from and what’s in it. It was great to be able to share what I received.”
Baker was stationed at the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group Hospital in Balad, Iraq. The hospital is the largest trauma center in Iraq and cares for not only injured service members, but also Iraqi military, enemy combatants and Iraqi civilians.
“By caring for civilians, we were able to show our goodwill,” he said. “There were some that visited often. We really formed attachment to those patients.”
Baker worked with flight doctors, flight line crews and Aero-Evacuation crews to coordinate injured patients’ movement in and out of the hospital. The patients were stabilized at the Balad facility before being moved to Germany.
Earlier this year, Madison County Hospital hosted a special flag raising ceremony to honor Baker and all local service men and women who have served and are serving our country. Baker donated the flag which had flown over the Balad hospital one day in honor of MCH.
In a letter accompanying the flag, Baker wrote “There is a lot of amazing work being done here at the hospital. The attitude and morale of our troops is very good. Although I miss my family, I feel as though I am a part of something much bigger and much more important than I realized.”
Now that his service has ended, everyone at Madison County Hospital is excited to have Baker back in Ohio safe and sound. He resumed his role as Chief Nursing Officer on Monday, August 31.